03 January 2021

Praying at Christmas with USPG:
10, Sunday 3 January 2021

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’ (John 1: 5) … a street scene in Bologna (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Throughout Advent and Christmas this year, I am using the Prayer Diary of the Anglican Mission Agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) for my morning reflections each day.

I was one of the contributors to the current USPG Diary, Pray with the World Church, introducing the theme of peace and trust this morning:

Before this day starts, I am taking a little time this morning for my own personal prayer, reflection and Scripture reading.

The theme of the USPG Prayer Diary this week (3 to 9 January 2021) is ‘David and Goliath’, and is introduced by the Right Revd Shourabh Pholia, Bishop of Barishal Diocese in the Church of Bangladesh:

‘The 2020 monsoon season caused a lot of disruption in Bangladesh, and we are all experiencing various challenges as a result. Some people lost their lives and prolonged floods robbed many of their livelihoods, houses, crops and businesses. Some are at the verge of losing their faith.

‘When I was a child, I used to collect spare change, particularly the coins that were gold in colour. I would store them in a box to use it in time of need. I don’t remember now what I did with that money. But I do know how I would use it if I had it now. Friends, I would like to encourage you to start collecting spare coins again. Today they can buy a hungry child a meal, or a sick elderly person some medicine. They could give a desperate person a little seed to start a small business.

We all are familiar with the story of David and Goliath. David may have lived a long time ago, but the world still has Goliath-sized problems today: hunger, pollution, wars, injustice, corruption, human rights abuses, sickness. Just like David, we can do something about them.’

Sunday 3 January 2021 (Second Sunday of Christmas):

Loving God,
May your grace shine upon us.
Give us a new revelation of your love
And help us be a light to the world.

The Collect of the Day:

Almighty God,
in the birth of your Son
you have poured on us the new light of your incarnate Word,
and shown us the fullness of your love:
Help us to walk in this light and dwell in his love
that we may know the fullness of his joy;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post-Communion Prayer:

Light eternal,
you have nourished us in the mystery
of the body and blood of your Son:
By your grace keep us ever faithful to your word,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 1: 1-18 (NRSVA):

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me”.’ 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s morning reflection

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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